"Everything you need to know about an animal is in its eyes... they are the windows."


Adele Goodman


Adele Goodman grew up in the picturesque farmland of North Carolina and currently lives on her family's NC Century Farm, the home to seven generations.  She surrounds herself with family, animals and flowers. As a child, she especially loved horses and everything about them…the way they smelled and felt, the way they moved; but moreover, how powerful and yet so graceful they were. This deep love and respect for animals can be seen in her portraits today. Goodman manages to capture the personality and spirit of her subjects and notes that, “everything you need to know about an animal is in their eyes,” her favorite part and the one she puts the most effort into. She is in a constant state of visual “studying” by observing the world in light and shadow; she sees in minute detail and a kaleidoscope of colors, always drawn to light.  Preferring dry medium to wet, her realistic style involves painstaking detail and her pastel paintings are often mistaken for oils.

Goodman’s portfolio showcases not only 4-legged animals but also the 2-legged kind - the miraculous human form which amazes her. She studied anatomy at length in high school and in figure drawing classes at the East Carolina University School of Art where accredited sculptor, Wesley V. Crawley, took Goodman under his wing. A recurring theme in her nudes is to highlight a woman’s strength and beauty even in times of despair. She sees beauty in darkness which is the same way she views life - even in a sometimes harsh and ugly world, her focus is always on the beautiful images that somehow dominate. She enjoys showcasing the body for pure aesthetics – other times, she wants the subject to tell a story and the observer to decide what that story is.  Her figure study, "Solitude" is a favorite to collectors of her work and was featured on Cauble Creek Vineyard's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and the wine was named after her. 

In March 2008, she spent a week studying oils under 2008 Western Artist of the Year, John Fawcett, at the Fredericksburg Artist’s School in Texas. She has also studied with American Academy of Equine Artist, Leslie Hudson-Tolles, a beloved friend whom she considers her mentor.  More recently she studied with equine Sculptor, Shelly Hunter who did John Henry's bronze for the Kentucky Horse Park, and hopes to finish a bronze of her own horse.

In 2009, Goodman was honored with permission to do an original portrait of 2006 Kentucky Derby Champion, Barbaro, to help raise funds for the Horse Protection Society at their annual auction. The portrait brought in a $5000 bid and the proceeds helped their 42 rescued equines. Goodman donates at least three portraits each year to local charity and is inspired by the volunteers and supporters who give unselfishly of their time to make the world a better place. To date, her art donations have raised $8000 for non-profits. She feels blessed to be able to use her God-given gift to give back – because of this, she has begun to put the letters ‘s.d.g.’ on each portrait as a sort of co-signature; a tradition started by Bach and copied by other artists over the years. It means “Soli Deo Gloria”…to God and God alone, goes all the glory.  

She works out of her cozy studio named Monarch Cottage. “It’s such a peaceful place to create. I disappear from the world when I’m there,” she says. The solar powered white cottage overlooks beautiful farmland and she fills it with a treasured collection of things that remind her of beloved family and friends including a bird nest collection made from her own horses manes and tails. "To see the engineering from a tiny bird who used hair from my precious horses is so touching - it reminds me of God's perfect, intelligent creation." She also has a framed page from Wesley Crawley, now deceased, with his notes from art school that she reads often and feels like he's still teaching her. Farmland preservation, conservation, wildlife, plants, insects, the environment and teaching children all about it, are also passions of Goodman.  She is also a passionate beekeeper.

There’s an emotional connection to each portrait that she does – Goodman loves and respects animals so much, she always feels honored to be able to do their portrait. “When I look at an animal,” Goodman notes, “I don’t see flaws, illness, age or any imperfections…I only see God’s love and a perfect creation. And that’s what I try to capture.”


1983-1986 East Carolina University School of Art - Figure studies with accredited sculptor, Wesley V. Crawley
1986-Present Freelance Artist
1991 Commissioned by ECU to do a commemorative print of the Pirate's Peach Bowl victory over rival NCSU
1993 Commissioned by ECU to do a commemorative print of the Championship Pirate Baseball Team
1998 "Solitude" chosen as "People's Choice Award" at Mooresville Artist Guild's Show out of 250 pieces
April 2005 First ever Solo Show, Lake Country Gallery, Mooresville, NC
April 2008 Studied oils/equine anatomy with 2008 Western Artist of the Year, John Fawcett, Fredericksburg Artist's School, Fredericksburg, Texas

June 2008

Began Mentor Program with equine artist, Leslie Hudson-Tolles

Oct 2008

Work begins on Goodman's first studio, "Monarch Cottage"

Dec 2008

Studio completed

April 2009

Lifestyle's Featured Artist, "Capturing Barbaro", The Salisbury Post (AP Wire)

May 2009 "Artist Inspired by Excellent Equine Example", Article, The Charlotte Observer
Oct 2009 Featured Artist in "Currents" Magazine of Lake Norman
Oct 2009 "The Art of Emotion" Solo Exhibit at Lake Country Gallery, Mooresville, NC - article
featured in Iredell Neighbors section of The Charlotte Observer
Dec 2009 "Artists Invitational" Exhibit at Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Salisbury, NC
April 2010 Website launched www.adelegoodman.com
July 2010 "Equine Expressions" Exhibit with L. Hudson-Tolles & Shelley Hunter, Koenig Frameworks, Newtown, CT
Aug 2010 Judge for "Beyond Reason" Exhibit, The Brock Performing Arts Center, Mocksville, NC
Sept 2010 "Go Figure!" Exhibit with Roger Hicks, Pfeiffer University, Grace & Cameron West Gallery, Misenheimer, NC
Spring 2011 EQUUTOUR 2011 with L. Hudson-Tolles - Exhibit traveled to 4 locations.  Featured articles in Charlotte Observer & Salisbury Post
June 2011 Sculpting Workshop with Shelly Hunter from KY Horse Park
June 2012 Pastel Society of NC juried Exhibit, Raleigh, NC
Nov 2011 Cauble Creek Vineyard's 2011 Artist Invitational Exhibit, Salisbury, NC
Nov 2012 Release of "Adelle", Cauble Creek Vineyard's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon featuring "Solitude"
Jan 2013 Solo Exhibit at Statesville Animal Hospital's Art Gallery
Aug 2014 Started Rowan County Barn Quilt Trail 
Aug 2018 Produced/edited/distributed the "2019 Barn Quilts of Rowan County" Calendar; sold 1100 copies
Jan 2019 Featured as "Rowan Original" in Salisbury Magazine's Winter Edition
Aug 2019

Produced/edited/distributed the "2020 Barn Quilts of Rowan County" Calendar; 

2300 copies sold

Nov 2019

Wrote/published "The Community Barn Quilt of Bear Poplar: Our Stories" book.  Limited edition sold only at Bear Poplar Place (Elsie & Brian Bennett, store owners)

Artist Info

Adele Goodman with Dudley

Art Currently Available at:

Lake Country Gallery, Mooresville NC


Currents Magazine Article (PDF)

Salisbury Post Article

Charlotte Observer Article (PDF)
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